South African football fans sporting various fancy disguises cheer at a Group A soccer match between South Africa and Cape Verdei during 2013 African Cup of Nations in Soweto on January 19, 2013 at Soccer City . AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER JOE (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)
Dimitri Payet is going to be a red-hot commodity during this summer’s transfer window, there’s no doubt about it.
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Given he’s currently contracted to one of the Premier League’s “smaller” clubs — in comparison to some of the giants which are bound to be interested — West Ham United, there’s a decent-to-good chance he could be wearing a different club’s shirt come August. Especially if the 28-year-old attacker shows up and shows out at this summer’s European Championship in his native France.
If I can foresee the interest in Payet, then so too can the executives at West Ham, which is why manager Slaven Bilic took to the press on Monday to convey his desire for Payet to consider signing a new, increased contract at his earliest convenience — quotes from the Guardian:
“We are moving, the club is moving, with the new stadium, with the revenue and everything. We have to move and the most important move is to keep your best players and to add some new players who are needed and Dimitri Payet is our best player — I have no problem whatsoever to say that. Of course, I would love to have him happy, long term, at the club.”
Of course West Ham want Payet to sign a new deal immediately — doing so would accomplish two things in the club’s eyes: 1) increase the likelihood he remains at the club next season, or 2) insure the club receives a higher transfer fee for the player if he leaves in the summer anyway. The more total money remaining on his West Ham contract, the more they can demand of a prospective buyer.
From Payet’s side — unless he has absolutely zero desire to move to a club like Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester United, where he’d likely be paid close to $200,000 per week — he’d be crazy to sign a new contract at this point. Not only would it make a move this summer more difficult, but a strong showing at EURO 2016 could be worth another $15,000 or $20,000 per week on a new contract with West Ham (his current contract is rumored to be close to $100,000 per week).
With as many as five seasons still remaining on his current contract (a one-year club option can be exercised at any point), and his stock perhaps at an all-time high, the next six months could hold Payet’s last chance to get really, really paid before he hits the downside of his career.
(AP) — The union that represents the Women’s World Cup-winning American national team opposed an expedited schedule in the lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. Soccer Federation last week, insisting no collective bargaining agreement exists.
The federation sued in an attempt to establish it has a contract with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association that runs through this year’s Olympics until Dec. 31. The union maintains the memorandum of understanding agreed to in March 2013 can be terminated at any time.
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The USSF filed a motion Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago asking for an expedited schedule, and the submitted opposition papers Monday that claim “facts asserted in the motion are nowhere near accurate and are hotly disputed.”
The union also maintains the USSF knew about the disagreement since July but did nothing about it.
An initial status conference is set for April 4.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says Lionel Messi is to undergo medical tests to assess a recurrence of kidney problems.
Messi missed the Club World Cup semifinal in December due to a renal colic, an abdominal ailment often related to the presence of kidney stones within renal ducts.
Barcelona says in a statement Monday that the tests to be conducted by Tuesday at the latest, are “to assess the evolution of the kidney problem he suffered last December.”
The statement says Messi will resume training with the squad on Wednesday, when Barcelona travels to Valencia for the return leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals in which it carries a 7-0 lead.
One of the biggest unanswered questions still hanging over the 2022 World Cup — at least for fans traveling to Qatar for the tournament — has to do with the rules and regulations placed upon their consumption of alcohol.
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On Monday, Hassan Al Thawadi, the head of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup committee, attempted to ease those fears when he said that not only will the consumption of alcohol be permitted during the tournament in six years’ time, but that in the event of public drunkenness, the visitors in question will be dealt with quickly and “very gently” — quotes from the Guardian:
“I know in South Africa there where specific courts established during the World Cup for this kind of thing, and that is something we were discussing with FIFA.”
“In relation to drunk fans it will be as it is anywhere else, anyone who is rowdy, anyone who breaches the law, will be very gently – depending on how they react – taken care of in a manner to make sure that people are not disrupting the public order. Everyone will be able to have fun and be exposed to Qatari culture.”
“We welcome everyone in the world. We’ve hosted many people, from many places and [drinking] was never an issue. This will be a fun World Cup. It will be one of the best cups out there.”